It’s the summer, middle of the year, and a perfect time to check up on the wellness of your customer experience (CX) program.
How healthy is your CX program? Are you ahead? Behind? What needs to change?
A CX audit that encompasses the entire organization, with multiple team involvement and ownership, will enable you to answer these questions. It is a necessary step to ensuring a strong CX engine.
A CX audit helps:
- Assess what is and what isn’t working.
- Identify any quick fixes to improve the CX.
- Expose gaps in processes that might need a shift in strategy or resource allocation to make improvements.
- Uncover revenue generation and cost-reduction opportunities.
- Ensure alignment with the business strategy.
As you prepare for your audit, here’s a list of questions to ask and points to consider. They will help you get and stay on track so your CX program ends 2017 on a healthy high note.
Know Thy Customer
- Have you reviewed your personas?
- Do they need to be revised?
- Do the current ones still apply?
- Do new ones need to be added?
- Which personas are the most valuable?
Make sure your personas address the following:
- Who is the buyer?
- What are their pains/motivators/goals/needs? What resources do they use and what information do they need to make an informed decision about you? What thoughts and feelings do they have about you? What outcomes do buyers expect after they have bought from you?
- When will they buy?
- Where will they be so they can see your content?
- How do they think, feel, and act? How can you influence the buyer to buy from you?
- Why should they buy your products/services?
Focus only on the things that matter. Cut extraneous, irrelevant info from your personas.
- Are customers segmented so you know which ones are your most valuable? Why are they your most valuable customers?
- Do you know how your most valuable customers feel about you?
- Do you know who your advocates are? Do you know why they are your advocates?
- Do you have a customer journey map by persona?
- Is the customer journey map accurate and complete? Does it need to be revised?
- Have you validated your customer journey maps with the customer? Have you made changes to your journey maps based on customer feedback?
- Are all the “pre-purchase” and “post-purchase” stages covered in the journey map? Are they in the right sequence?
- Which touch points (interactions) are key? Which touch points impact your customers the most? Why are these high-impact touch points?
- How easy do you make it for your customers to move along the post-purchase phases (retention, loyalty, and advocacy) of the customer journey?
- Are your customers’ goals, needs, and expectations being met at each phase of the customer journey?
- Do you know your customers’ experiences and their perceptions of their experiences at each touch point of their journey?
- How do you engage with your customers?
- Are your customers engaged?
- What key indicators (net promoter, satisfaction, effort, quantitative measures of emotion, etc.) are you using to confirm the performance of your customer journey maps? Do these indicators still apply? What are the trends of these key indicators? Do you know why the measures are changing?
The customer journey should be from the customer’s point of view. So, while internal customer-facing teams should work together to review the journey and its touch points, you must still conduct customer research to confirm the assumptions of these touch points are correct, and capture customers’ experiences and their perceptions of their experiences across many touch points along the entire journey.
Voice Of The Customer (VoC)
- Where are your listening posts along the customer journey? Are they capturing the right information? Are there communications channels that need to be added? What are your most valuable communications channels along the journey?
- Do you make it easy for your customers to communicate with you and provide feedback?
- Are you interviewing your customers besides surveying them and observing their behaviors?
- When your customers provide feedback, where does the feedback data go? How do you extract actionable insights from the data and rank them? How do insights make it back into your CX processes?
- How do customers communicate issues? How are issues resolved? How do you communicate with the customer that an issue is resolved?
A strong VoC program is a cornerstone to a successful CX initiative. When a CX program breaks down, VoC is typically cited as one of the causes for failure. One of the reasons for VoC failure is the lack of insights getting back into processes. According to recent Forrester research, 65 percent of companies with VoC programs don’t take action based on customer insights because they don’t have the tools to do so. Forrester also found that 65 percent of respondents reported that their VoC programs didn’t make it easy to access customer insights.
For CX to work, it is paramount organizations are able to extract actionable insights from its data and put them into their CX processes.
- Is leadership committed to driving the CX strategy?
- Does the organization develop and educate staff on the CX vision, its role in its execution, and why it matters?
- How does the organization keep employees engaged about the CX vision?
- How do teams collaborate to ensure a seamless experience and that silos aren’t formed?
A study published by The Forum for People Performance Management & Measurement at Northwestern University several years ago found that “there is a direct link between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction, and between customer satisfaction and improved financial performance.”
This is why organizations need strong employee engagement and CX programs to work together to drive growth.
Linking CX To Value
- How are your customer outcomes (your customer journey metrics) tying back to business goals, such as reducing churn, increasing customer lifetime value, etc.?
After you conduct your audit and compile your data, sit down with all key stakeholders of your CX strategy. Determine and rank actionable insights. Then come up with an implementation action plan on how to incorporate those insights into your CX processes.
A midyear checkup, along with an action plan to improve your CX program, will ensure you stay on track with your CX strategy.
Here’s to a strong CX finish in 2017.